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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  January 19, 2012 1:00pm-3:00pm PST

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went down like it did. there would have been a lot of blood, and then saying we're going to land somewhere safely. he's apologizing, to suggest i would have done differently than the passengers on the plane was irresponsible. i deeply apologize for the victims and the that my answer came off as insensitive. it was certainly not my intention. mark wall berk there. that's it for me. thanks as always for watching. time now again on the road, live from charleston, south carolina, wolf blitzer and "the situation room." brooke, thanks very much. just two days before the primary rick perry drops out of the race. and gingrich is now facing explosive charges from his second wife.
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she says ging rick -- and rick santorum trails his rivals, but a final count shows he actually won there. could that help him in south carolina and beyond? i'll have an exclusive interview with rick santorum this hour. i'm wolf blitzer in charleston, south carolina, you're in "the situation room". an extraordinary day out on the campaign trail. today just hours before our cnn republican debate, only two days before the crucial primary here, the texas governor rick perry bowed to reality and bowed out. >> today i am suspecting my campaign and endorsing newt gingrich for president of the united states.
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i believe newt is a visionary that can transform our country. we've had our differences, which campaigns will inevitably have, and newt is not perfect, but who among us is? the fact is there is forgiveness for those who seem god. i believe in the power of redempti redemption, for it is a central tenet of my christian faith. peter broke the story on cnn today. he was, what, 5%, 6%, 7%, he would do it gracefully today or be humiliated on saturday? that's the bottom line? >> that was the calculation. perry was on pace to finish dead last here. they wanted to avoid that embarrassment, that spectacle. after the iowa caucuses, he went
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to a ref la torrie jog and decided i'm going all in in south carolina and i asked the campaign what ink chaed? they said they had saw no viable path forward. the real answer is they didn't want to do more damage to his brand. >> were you surprised he went ahead and endorsed newt gingrich. he referred to he's made mistakes, we know what he's talking about. exactly. he did couch his endorsement in the christian themes. newt is the one guy that the thought he would endorse. they do have a friendly relationship. governor perry does not have a good relation-with governor romney. newt gingrich wrote the introduction to rick perrys's book last year. yes, they have tangedled, but he has a good relation-with me, and perry sources told me today they frankly don't think that mitt romney is a conservative. they think newt gingrich is. >> perry did say about newt
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gingrich, and i'm paraphrasing, if you're not faithful for your wife, how can you be faithful to your business, to your country? we'll get more on that coming up. peter, you broke huntsman's announcement on monday, pawlenty you broke, what happened with michele bachmann and herman cain? >> sorry i couldn't do that. >> you have to work a little harder. peter, an excellent political report. thanks very much. allegations from his second wife that he wanted an open marriage to continue an affair with a woman he now has his current wife. brian todd has the details. what's going on here? >> the timing of these interviews is damages today, while he wanted to bulk about the differences between himself and mitt romney, he had to spend part of the time fending off questions. she said more than a decade ago
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she could end her husband's career with one interview. since then she's become his ex-wife and she's snow given at least three interviews that are personally and possibly politically damaging. the latest to abc news and "the washington post." abc reports mary ann gingrich's claim that the former house speaker once asked her if he would share him with a woman he was having an afarad with who would later become his third wife. she spoke with "nightline." >> i said, newt, we've been married a long time, and he said, yes, but you want me all to yourself. calista doesn't care what i do. >> what was he saying? >> he was asking for an open marriage and i refused. >> newt gingrich was asked to respond. >> i'm not going to say anything about mary ann. my two daughters have written to
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abc complaining about this as being tawdry and inappropriate. >> reporter: in a so-called memo to abc leadership, gingrich's daughters from his first marriage said we will not say any negative about our father's ex-wife. he hayes said before privately and publicly he regrets any pain he may have caused in the past to people he loves. abc news or other campaigns may want to talk about the past, but newt is going to talk to the people vr people of south carolina about the future. we tried to reach his daughters about the story after abc released a preview, but did not hear back. it comes during crucial final hours, but -- >> the yen trend is that the public is more forgiving, more
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understanding that you can't judge people by only what they do at the worst moments, but see them in a larger picture. my guess is this will be something of a headache, but not a decisive factor in this race. i asked brownstein if it may hurt gingrich, he said that's possible, but he pointed out the case of david vitter, after becoming embroiled in a prostitution scandal. wolf? >> brian, has marriane gingrich said why she's giving these interviews? >> she told abc she's saying this now so voters can know what she floez about newt gingrich. she told "the washington post" that she had so many requests for interviews, quote, this was unavoidable. she also wanted this told from her point of view rather than being seen as a victim or suffering from apparently what
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she referred to as a whispering campaign by newt gingrich's supporters. so she's spinning this a few different ways. >> brian todd, thank you. we told you it's an extraordinary day in politics, so let's bring in candy crowley. candy, this interview with marriane gingrich, is it enough to change the outcome on seared? >> listen, my feeling is as much as ron express edianne gingrich to change the outcome on seared? >> listen, my feeling is as much as ron express ed. >> i do think there's a difference between getting a divorce and wanting an open marriage, but perhaps there's a divisional thing that the ex-wife is getting into here, but i think that in the larger picture people know who newt gingrich is, he has come out and sort of drawn the sting, saying, listen, i've hurt people, but
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i've, you know, made it right with my lord and my current wife. now i'm a grandfather, so judge me now. so i think he's done a pretty good part of that. will it cause maybe some people to vote for rick santorum or mitt romney? perhaps, but i don't think in the main this would be a big mover and shaker in south carolina. >> as far as rick perry is concerned, he clearly saw the handwriting on the wall, he never really recovered from the early stumbles in those debates. >> he truly didn't. what's interesting to me is that we are talking about sort of two opposites here. rick perry, who pretty much was buried by the debates and newt gingrich who was resurrected by them. that's how important these debates have been. newt gingrich was running on fumes as of last summer, and the only thing that gave him any kind of energy going forward were these debates.
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just the exact opposite was true of rick perry who came in and almost was immediate in overnight place first in iowa. that first came and the second and third, and it was too late by the time he got better. people sort of stepped back and thought, ooh, may not be ready for primetime. >> mitt romney, what does he need to do tonight? >> he needs to put in a better debate performance than he did in the last debate. he needs to not get ruffled, but most important importantly i think they will come at him. one this whole issue of how much he paid in taxes. there is an explanation, and he needs to have some way to explain to people in a short period of time his financials. what's happened here is that every time something comes up
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about finances, mitt romney tends to get further and further away from the average voter. he needs to come back down and explain to folks about his taxes, about what bain capital did in a way that is understandable and acceptable to voters, and most of all, he can't look under siege. one of the his great strengths throughout these debates is after every debate we've always said, you know, they really didn't touch mitt romney. he's still the front-runner and they didn't touch him. he has to maintain that kind of calm exterior while he fights off people that are really in this looking for the jugular. >> he certainly does. all right, candy, thanks very much. the four republican survivors will meet tonight here in charleston, south carolina. the southern republican presidential debate. our own john king moderates 8:00 p.m. eastern, only here on cnn. iowa makes political his to
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torrie by rewriting political history. officials say rick santorum won the iowa caucuses. now we're going to find out what mitt romney is saying about losing iowa two weeks later. [ female announcer ] experience dual-action power, with listerine® whitening plus restoring rinse. it's the only listerine® that gets teeth two shades whiter and makes tooth enamel two times stronger. get dual-action listerine® whitening rinse. building whiter, stronger teeth.
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it just might cost him a second term. a new cbs news/"new york times" poll shows only 31% of independents have a favorable opinion of our president. compared that to 2008 when mr. obama defeated john mccain by winning 52% of the independent vote. according to this poll, two thirds of independents say the president has not made real progress in fixing the economy, the nation's top issue. more than half say they don't have a clear idea of what mr. obama hopes to accomplish if he's reeleeksed. 6 in 10 independents say the president does not share their priorities for the country. none of this is good news for the president, needless to say. it's no coincidence he's out with his first major tv advertising today in several battleground states. one of the targets, the crucial swing voters. the news isn't all bad here, though, for mr. obama, there could be an opening to win back some of the independents, though
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republicans think mitt romney has the best chance of defeating president obama and it's looking more and more like he'll eventually become the nominee, almost half the independents say they have not formed an opinion of romney as of yet. nevertheless, many independents are disappointed and disillusioned with president obama and the state of the country. they think the. has tailed to delivered on many of his promises action and they say if the election was held today, a lot wouldn't vote for him. here's the question -- can president obama win the reelection without the support of independents? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile, and post a comment, or go to our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. wolf? >> he needs those independents, no doubt about it. thank you, jack. an unprecedented event where republican officials say rick santorum actually won, won this month's caucuses, not mitt romney. a final certified count shows santorum finished 34 votes ahead.
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he'll join me in a first minutes and we'll talk about that, but first jim accost ha has been on the campaign trail. you're back here in charleston. what is romney saying? >> it was curious. he refused to talk about what happened in iowa. it all adds up to the romney campaign playing damage control here in south carolina. mitt romney wasn't just ignoring the elephant in the room, but the whole zoo. in his only remarks to his only crowd of the day, romney made no mention of the fact he did not win the iowa caucuses after all and one of his rivals, rick perry, was out of the race. instead he poked fun at president obama's trip to disney world. >> it's obviously appropriate, because he's been living in a sort of fantasyland for all these year. and he worked in a dig. >> he may bump into speaker gingrich there at fantasyland.
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you want. >> reporter: any thoughts, sir, on how dropping out changes your race? are you disappointed -- >> he's a good man. he did a nice job. >> reporter: and tried to get him to comment on any of the news of the day. finally a small bracktrue. >> rick perry, a terrific guy, great governor, and we're going to miss him on the stage tonight. no comment on the endorsement of gingrich. romney spun his apparent 34-vote loss to rick santorum with a statement call the result a virtual tie. contrast that with santorum's release. >> reporter: is it fair to call it a tie when rick santorum came out on top? romney had a different take on iowa when he was on top, by just eight votes. >> my goodness what a squeaker, but it's nice to have a win. >> we forgot to congratulate him on the landslide victory last
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night. >> reporter: the former massachusetts governor has had trouble at times drawing business crowds. a few voters told catherine they're just not sold on him yet. >> he would say things like he didn't believe in obamacare, but never mentioned what he did in massachusetts, which was basically the same thing, socialized medicine. >> i think there's several strong candidates. i wish he would have addressed his pro-life stance. he didn't, but i know about his stance. i'm still undecided. >> reporter: back in charleston, one voter pressed him on when to release 9 tax return. he got a terse response -- >> april. >> reporter: earlier this afternoon mitt romney called to concede the results, but the romney campaign said, no, he only congratulated santorum. contrast that with the statement that iowa was a tie. wolf, mitt romney could afford
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thinks types of missteps up in new hampshire. he can't do that here in south carolina. it's just too close. >> jim acosta, thanks very much. we'll talk about the relatively small crowds for romney as compared to newt gingrich. he's that could bode something for saturday. thank you very much. we're counting down to the debate tonight, but also other news, including some dramatic new video of the cruise disaster, the rescue operation. also my exclusive interview with the new iowa caucus winner, rick santorum. that's coming up. built for the purpose of driving innovation. one that's transforming how companies from every industry-- and of every size-- are doing business. a platform built for now. and for what's next. this...is the cisco intelligent network.
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we'll get to my interview shortly, but other news we're following. italian officials have just released any video of the operation in the cruise ship disaster. you can decree rescuers being lowered on to the upside turn on the "costa concordia." officials are now talking of changing the rescue mission to a recovery operation. meanwhile, survivors of families
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and those who died find themselves in an uphill battle when it comes to recovers damages. lisa sylvester, what are you finding out? >> 11 people are dead. the survivors and their families will likely want to be compensated. what they'll find out is maritime law limits the cruise line's liability. the 1920 death on the high seas act is a u.s. law that allows family members to sue a cries line, but damages are limited to lost wages and funeral expenses. for american who suffered injury or mental trauma, their claims are limited. when you sign a cruise ticket, that's a binding, legal contract.
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>> there's a number surprises, if in and out outright shocks contained in the fine legal print, the legal mumbo jumbos. the cruise lines have spent literally decades to limit the ability -- read the fine print and you'll find that passengers are not able to file a class-action lawsuit. each claim must be brought individually. lost baggage claims are only $500 unless the passengers prepurchased insurance. death and personal injury claims are limited to $70,000, as spelled out in the athens convention of 1976. the statute of limitations is only a year after the incident, and passengers or their survivors have only six months to notify the cruise line of their intent to file a lawsuit.
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when it comes to jurisdiction, lawsuits against the costa cruises are not heard in the united states, but in genoa, italy. >> they're incredibly slanted to the companies, because they count on the fact that nobody reads them. in fact, if the cases go to court, sometimes the contracts can be overcome, but it's a long and difficult legal process. >> reporter: but companies often do above and beyond what is legally required, if nothing else for pr reasons. carnival in a statement said it is committed to providing full support to those impacted. the ceo saying, quote -- i give my personal assurance that we will take care of each and every one of our guests, crew and their families affected by this tragic event. our company was founded on this principle, and it will remain our focus. the captain of the "costa
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concordia" is currently under arrest. toxicology tests are being done on samples of his hair to see if he might have been under influence at the time of the accident. now, lawyers may try to apply wrongful death lawsuits under other u.s. or italian statutes, particularly if it can be prove that the captain acted with intentional recklessness. carnival may be eager in fact to resolve these claims out of court, wolf. >> lisa, thank you. rick santorum is calls his belated victory a huge upset. you'll hear him talk about that a lot more, including why he hasn't released his own tax returns yet. my exclusive interview with rick santorum is next.
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rick santorum certainly worked longer and harder than the other candidates did in iowa. he left thinking he had a strong second-place finish, but now the iowa vote has been certified and by a razor-thin margin, rick santorum actually won.
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that's a boost he certainly can use going to saturday's vote. senator santorum, thanks for coming in. >> it's great to be back with us. >> first of all, congratulations. apparently you won in iowa. >> yeah. >> have they officially told you? >> i got an e-mail at 4:51 this morning saying the certified vote we won by 34 slows. so either way you tally it, we were successful, and we feel good about that. we have a strong plan to continue that momentum and take it here to south carolina now, and off to florida. as we saw from today, with the race narrowing eventually it will get down to conservative versus a moderate. we have won one of the two primaries. we hope to do well in south carolina. and according to the polls we're running second in florida, so
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we've beaten newt gingrich twice, and so we feel like we're in pretty good shape. >> you must feel bad, though, that they took two weeks to make this official. it may have given you some momentum going into new hampshire. >> i don't blame iowa. you know, they had to go through the process. if you think about it, it moved from 8 votes to 34. usually in an election that kind of change is insignificant, so the state of iowa -- the republican party did a good job. i'm very happy that they got, you know, 99.9% of the polls places in, and we feel very, very good that we not only won, but we pulled off a huge upset. >> i'm sure you're happy that rick perry dropped out of the race, because presume by he could have taken votes away from you, but you're not happy he endorsed newt gingrich. >> i've grown fond of rick perry, and i really like his
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wife anita, his son grif. and really i hurl our families bonded in some respects. i know it's a tough day for him, and i wish him the very best. he did the best he could, and had little bobbles at the beginning and could never regain from that. as far as his endorsement, that's his opinion. i feel strongly we're the strong one in the race, we've been talking about a solid vision, and we're the one that can contrast with president obama on really the key issues of the day. newt and mitt, the other two left in this race that have a chance of winning this nomination, are bad matchups. you talk about matchups, it's a bad matchup in the fall. >> bad matchup because -- >> if you look at, for example, the three issues that the tea party started around, one was obama-care, the other was the
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wall street bailouts. the third was cap in train, and global warming. on all at least issues, they have horribly compromised. you have both of them supporting the wall street big bank bailout, which i did not, and you have newt sitting on the couch with nancy pelosi on global warming and mitt romney supporting a former cap in trade. if we need the tea party to get excited about our candidate, the very existence of the tea party was motivated by three issues that our candidates are on the same side as barack obama. that's a very bad way to start a general election. >> you have within ad that says mitt romney is just like obama. you obviously approved that ad. >> absolutely. >> he's just like obamma? >> he put the plan together. it's blown it's added $8 billion
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to health care costs in massachusetts, which all had to be paid for. guess what? they've had increased taxes by $8 billion. yes, you did, because you dramatically expanded spending when taxes went up, in addition to the taxes he raised. if you look at romney care, compared to obama care, it's the same model. >> can mitt romney beat president obama in november? >> i'm hoping any republican can beat barack obama, but there's two issues. who has the best chance? the idea that the political situation will stay as it is today, we don't know. the economy can get better or wort. i have the best record on the national security and the most experience. what we need is to put the strongest cane out there that makes obama the problem, that,
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you know, lessen the wedge between the two candidates. >> jon huntsman drops out this week, endorses mitt romney. rick perry drops out this week, endorses newt gingrich. newt gingrich says you should drop out so as not to divide up that conservative vote against mitt romney. >> that's pure and simple arrogance. the guy lost two races already. i won iowa, he finished in fourth. i finished ahead of him in the state of new hampshire where he finished fifth, and as a result of that, i should drop out of the race. >> he seems to be surging right now. >> we'll wait and see what happens on saturday. i've already got a win under our belt. if he's fortunate to do better here in south carolina, we'll wait and see, but we feel very good about how things are going here. i think the most people look at this race and realize the strong conservative, the one that presents the best contrast and the best chance of winning is
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rick santorum. >> so you're definitely going to florida. >> absolutely. actually we're starting our buy today, what does that mean? >> woulder starting to buy in florida on television. >> you're starting to buy television? you have enough money? >> we do. we've done since the iowa win. and the actual certification of our win, and the energy and the fact that the field is narrowing, that's a bunch of other people supporting -- that hopefully will come on our team and help us on the. >> even ron paul, and some of them, if you come out last in south carolina saturday, what does that say? >> you know what? we'll work harder and do our best to win this, and, you know, we came in first in one state, someone else ka imin first?
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another. this is a natural state for newt gingrich to do well. he's invested a lot of time and money here. and the cnn poll says we're running second in florida, so i feel good we'll do better than expected. no one expected us to win iowa. no one expected us to finish ahead of gingrich in new hampshire. and guess what? we did it twice. let's see who has the enthusiasm heading into saturday and will turn out the vote. >> let's talk about some of the issues that plague mitt romney. you haven't released yours, either? >> no, i haven't particularly sexy returns. first up, i think it's not unreasonable for someone to say, you know, you don't want to release your tax returns, they are private issues. you do fill out a financial disclosure form. i don't know of any form that was -- that was any kind of newsworthy item. so i think it's a lot about gotcha. i've said when i get back
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home -- and i haven't been home for a few weeks -- i do their own taxes, they're on my computer. i'm not going to fly home to get my taxes to release them. eventually when i get home, i'll do that, and let me assure you there's not a lot of sexiness in my taxes. >> but in terms of the percentage of taxes paid, apparently mitt romney paying 15%, because a lot of long-term gains. newt gingrich says his is about 31%, his federal income tax rate. what about yours? >> i don't know. i know it's more than 15. i've got a bunch of kids. that does lower your rate because you get the deductions. i can't tell you off the top of my head. i know it's more than 15. i have no idea whether it's 30 or somewhere in between. >> but you will release them? >> yeah. >> let's talk about that other issue. when rick perry endorsed newt gingrich today, he said, i
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support him, he's a conservative, not perfect, but as a christian, i believe in redemption. i think he was referring to this new allegations that's about to come out in this abc interview. you know all about this at this late, late date. >> i always blefz when you're an elected leader, your character counts. the things you do in public office matter, and i don't know the specifics, but certainly anything that interferes and what you did in behaving in that office with people who you work with, that's an issue that's certainly one the public should consider. >> but when he says, yes, i made
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a lot of mistakes, but i'm a 68-year-old grandfather right now, and rick perry says i believe in redemption, i assume you do too? >> sure i do. but i also believe you are accountable for what you did, and it does provide insights into what's going on up here and what's in here. when i see him go off the handle and say things, like attacking the private equity business and attacking capitalism, when i see him propose a brand-new entitlement program and fund it the way obamacare was funded, by taking money from here and shifting it over here to create a brand-new entitlement program. when i see he's out there saying to me, after having lost two elections to me, that i should resign, i think that just shows that, you know, we don't need a nominee that every day you have to worry about picking up the paper and seeing what he's going
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to say. that's the concern with newt gingrich that he simply is not the kind of reliable, consistent, stable -- not just conservative, but candidate. >> one final thought on ron paul, where does he fit into this whole prime -- >> ron paul has admitted he's not going to win the presidency. he's already said that. he's trying to change the republican party. he's on a mission to try to move the republican party twand a more libertarian bent. that's his right to do that, but it's not a serious run for the presidency. it's a run to try to change the party. people run for different reasons. i think ron paul will be in this race probably to the very end, because he hayes folks who want to realign the republican party in a different way. he has every right to do that, but i don't see him as someone who is seriously competing for the nomination. you've got a fashion statement. you're wearing it right now. how does it feel to be a fashion guru? >> i'm not too sure this is
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necessarily avant-garde kind of stuff here. i go back to if you want someone who will make boyne boim the issue, you want the stable, solid conservative with a proven record. that's what i've been able to do in my political career. i'm not the flashiest guy, not the guy getting the big applause lines. i'm going to make him the issue, not me, and that's what we want. >> good luck. >> thank you very much, wolf. >> thank you. >> appreciate it. rick perry drops out, and endorses newt gingrich in the republican race for the white house. what impact will it have on the bitter battle here in south carolina, florida and potentially beyond? donna brazile and ari fleischer are here with me, standing by for our strategy session. nyquil (stuffy): hey, tylenol. you know we're kinda like twins.
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not quite knowing what the next phase was going to be, you know, because you been, you know, this is what you had been doing. you know, working, working, working, working, working, working. and now you're talking about, well you know, i won't be, and i get the chance to spend more time
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with my wife and my kids. it's my world. that's my world. ♪ can you enjoy vegetables with sauce and still reach your weight loss goals? you can with green giant frozen vegetables. over twenty delicious varieties have sixty calories or less per serving and are now weight watchers-endorsed. try green giant frozen vegetables with sauce. joining us our cnn contributors, donna brazile and ari fleischer, the former bush white house press secretary. ari, santorum won in iowa. you think voters here in south carolina will care? >> i think he's had the bump that he deserved and he got that
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coming out of iowa. at this stage i think they focus -- especially in south carolina where they take their voting very seriously and they have a strong track record. >> he was pretty tough, going and you have not only romney, but he has no great love no newt gingrich or ron paul for that matter, forecandidates left. >> i believe the retroactive victory will really not help resolve one big problem. that is viability. is he electable? one third of the voters wanted to pick someone who could beat barack obama. the problem is he lacks resources and most voters don't believe he could beat obama. >> i haven't heard a lot of people make it, but see what you think. south carolina for newt gingrich is what new hampshire was for
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mitt romney, so newt gingrich should do well here. >> demographically, of course there's a lot to that. he the southern politician fits the mold, but the difference is, wolf, that mitt really capped out and did a lot in new hampshire for months action and newt hasn't done that here, but still you have to look at this race and think newt has a slight edge right now. >> two days to go he might still win here. >> of course he now has an endorsement by rick perry, and if he turns over -- i think like the four winds they'll be scattered. newt gingrich is clearly a candidate. who's the big winner from rick perry suspending his campaign. >> that 6% or so he was getting,
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most of them will go to newt gingrich? why not rick santorum? >> because i get the sense that voters are picking someone who they think can win the nomination. >> still my view is most of the perry votes will go toward one of the -- and that's newt gingrich. that's why it's so important for mitt romney to deliver the knockout punch here, because the last thing he wants is for this ray to go on and be against only one person. >> even if it's close -- santorum shows no signs he's not going to campaign. ron paul, you know, he's got his own agenda. he's going to stay in the race. it looks like they're in for a while, at least through florida. >> back in 2008, on we shouldn't throw candidates off before the
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voters make their own selection, so i think the republicans will do quite well, if they go the distance and all these key states to make their own selection, and perhaps we'll end up with somebody we don't know. >> on paper rick perry looked so strong. he immediately was atop the field, but then he collapsed. >> there's a lesson here. the presidency is a higher level and it's hard. you have to be suntantively ready and cannot get in late. even for a long-serving governor like rick perry, you're obvious in above year head. >> you'll be with us through the duration. >> it's warmer here. not the usual backdrop for a spiel by the president, but today he was in front of the cinderella's castle. what he was doing in the state of florida, where the republican battle is really heating up. stand by.
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lisa sylvester is monitoring other top stories in "the situation room," including a sad day in the world of sports. >> that's right, a tragic day as free-style ski champion sara burk has died. she died from injuries she received during practice in utah last week, regarded as one of the best in the world, shy was considered a favorite to win gold for her home country of canada at the 2014 olympics. sara burke was 29 years old. the snow is tapering out, but freezing rain and ice shall shut runways at seattle's airports, and about 50 families are being evacuated from turner, oregon, due to flooding. washington's governor is declaring a state of emergency as a precaution. warnings remain in effect for a portion of eight western states. new job his claims hit the
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lowest levels in four years. on wall street, all three major indexes closed at the highest level since july. the s&p 500 rose six months and the nasdaq gained 19. world? >> thanks very much, lisa. your e-mail and posts are next. and herman cain, he promised an endorsement today. who will it be? you're going to find out. he'll join me live. all energy development comes with some risk,
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the policy that's right for you. liberty mutual insurance, responsibility -- what's your policy? jack cafferty is back with "the cafferty file." statistic question is can president obama win reelection without the support of independents. he's not doing as well as he was three years old. bradley writes in philadelphia -- i don't think any presidential candidate can within. the question is whether anybody can win without causing the independents to run away screaming.
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rick writes the poll would indicate he would be hard pressed to win again. only stage democrats will vote for him, and even some of those may abandon the sinking ship. most other voters will vote for his opponent, whoever that is, figuring if change was ever needed, it's now. phil in georgia writes -- no. obama has ruled a lot from the middle, and it's the republicans who have moved away from a majority of their views. reward the president for sincere attempts. bob in pennsylvania writes i don't think obama has enough of his base, let alone independents, and larry in denver -- under normal
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circumstances, i might agree however based on the most-wanted list of republicans, i can vote for the candidate who will do the least damage, obama, there is not one clown coming out of that tiny republican car i would even consider, most independents will feel the same way come next november november. go to my blog to read more or think "the situation room's" facebook page. worrell? will do, jack. let's go to the next hour. happening now, the countdown is on who will shine on the stage tonight? plus while the republican candidates duke it out, president obama is on a mission to prove he isn't living, quote, in the fantasy land. shocking new details about what the captain of that doomed ship
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reportedly did minutes after that crash. i'm wolf blitzer in south carolina. you're in "the situation room." you're looking at live pictures of the debate hall. cnn's southern republican presidential debate is less than three hours away. on the stage tonight four candidates instead of five. this voter showing one podium taken just moments after rick perry dropped out of the race. >> i know when it's time to major a strategic retreat. so i will leave the trail,
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return home to texas, wind down my 2012 campaign. i will do so with pride, knowing i gave fully of myself of a cause worthy of this country. perry going on to say he's now endorsing newt gingrich, a move which could help the former house speak close that gap with mitt romney, but an explosive cloud of new allegations may stand in the way. joe johns is working his sources, what do you got? >> reporter: the pressure is really on no future gingrich. we saw him in buford, south carolina, look he got some of the very best news and the worst news all at the same time. he had already been surging in the polls and rick perry got out of race. >> i was very honored and very humbled to have governor perry
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speak so well about endorsing me a few minutes ago. >> reporter: but if the gingrich camp was feeling any joy, it was muted at best as his colorful past surfaced once again. gingrich's second wife marianne gave an interview to abc news. in an advanced excerpt, the second mrs. gingrich said her then husband wanted a special arrangement between himself, her and calista bisset, with whom he was having an affair and later would become his third wife. in advance of the airing of the interview, damage control to the two daughters put out a statement saying the failure of a marriage is a terrible and emotional experience for everyone involved anyone who's
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had that experience understands. it's a personal tragedy, filled with regrets and sometimes digering memories. after the town hall in buford, i asked gingrich about the assertion. >> i'm not going to say anything about marianne. my two daughters have already written to abc complaining about this as tawdry and inappropriate. both might daughters are prepared to speak with anyone on the record. several people who knew the situation are prepared to speak on the record. i'm not getting involved. >> reporter: earlier a man in the crowd questioned him about his personal life and the former speak said judgment will be up to the voters. >> look, i think this is a decision you have to make. you've been very open about my life, about mistakes i've made, about needing to go to god for forgiveness. >> reporter: south carolina votes on saturday. there's not a lot of time for voters to sift through the newest information. >> it will have many some
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impacts, but when the details start coming out, it will have less impact than i think perhaps the former mrs. gingrich would have hoped. >> she's given interviews before, but i would say never at a more critical time in his political career. >> we'll see how it shakes out, and then in florida january 31st, the primary there. see if it comes up in the debate later tonight. the other huge political story today, an early morning surprise for rick santorum, the unseated mitt rom -- i asked him in an exclusive interview earlier in the day whether he had been officially given the news. >> i got an e-mail at 4:51 this morning saying the certified voice, we won by 34 votes. if they include these other very small precincts that have not
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been officially certified, but were phoned in, actually i won by more. either way we were successful, and we feel very good about that. we have a strong plan to continue that momentum and take it here to south carolina, off to florida. >> cnn's shannon travis is standing by. so what exactly happened with the vote counted? >> reporter: well, basically what happened was human error and missing votes, wolf. on caucus night, a lot of the county chairmen across the 99 were phones in the uninitial results of who got how many votes to the iowa gop headquarters here. they were putting it in a computer. then there was a process to certify, that the iowa gop had to certify them, but there was one step they needed from the county chairmen, something called a form e, saying that
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what you phoned in is actually accurate. the problem was a lot of the numbers as they were certifies weren't matching. there were some key does that strokes that one in put in 44 when they put in 4, what have you. probably the most significant is eight of the pry since didn't turn any documentation at all, attesting to what they phoned in was actually what they're sending in, so the number changed. as you mentioned, san tore, according to these results won by 34. wolf? >> and that's that. shannon travis on the scene for you. president obama made a trip to disney world, the happiest place on earth, to talk about how unhappy he is with congress. he touted a clang to make it easier for visitors from around the world to travel to the united states. our white house correspondent brianna keilar is traveling with
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the president. >> wolf, disney world is a symbol of tourism and florida is a symbol of politics, both in play here today for the president's visit, which started with him poking some fun at himself and mickey mouse. >> nice to meet a world leader who has bigger ears than me. >> reporter: with disney world as a back drop president obama unveiled a plan to increase tourism to the united states. >> in 2010, nearly 60 million international visitors helped the tourism industry generate over $134 billion. tourism is the number one service we export. that means jobs. >> the executive order will allow visitors from more countries to travel to the u.s. without a visa, china and brazil
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have a growing middle class with billions to spend on travel. roger dow is head of the u.s. travel association. >> brazil has pent-up demand, but the potential for china is unbelievable. >> reporter: the spectacle is part of obama's we can't wait campaign, a series of job-related actions but congress that is taken some action on tourism, creating a fund to promote travel to the u.s., and recently funding an increase in state department staff to process more visas in brazil, but it isn't all about tourism. it's become a bit of a pattern for president obama, popping up in states where republicans are duking it out. gop voters in florida picked their candidate to oppose him later this month, on caucus night in iowa, obama spoke
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virtually to his supporters there. next week he heads to nevada which holds caucuses after florida's primary. the president's visit to the happiest place on earth didn't escape notice from his opponents. >> but i have to confess, as i thought this morning about the president flanked on one side by mickey mouse and on the other side by goofy reassembly a cabinet picture -- >> reporter: and president obama is one stop ahead of republicans, so to speak, sp nkts week when he heads to nevada to sell his message. nevada holds its caucuses after the florida primary. >> thanks very much brianna. we told you about newt gingrich's ex-wife's claims. could that spell real trouble for newt gingrich with women
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voters? stand by. we'll discuss. also former republican presidential candidate herman cain. he's here. he's finally made his unconventional endorsement. stand by for that as well. as a police chief i have an opportunity to affect what happens in a major city. i learned early on if you want to make a difference you have to have the right education. university of phoenix opened the door. my name is james craig, i'm committed to making a difference and i am a phoenix. i'm forty eight years-old, i love to swim, and i love to walk outside. osteo bi-flex has really helped my knees. osteo bi-flex has been incredible for me, and i swear by it. [ male announcer ] osteo bi-flex, the glucosamine chondroitin suppment with 5-loxin advanced. shows improvement in joint comfort within 7 days.
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check it out. some beautiful video of historic charleston, south carolina. that's where we are right now,
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aerial shots, we're counting down to tonight's the republican presidential debate. you'll see it here at 8:00 p.m. eastern. john king is moderating that debate for us. let's go to jack cafferty with "the cafferty file." >> what's that phrase republicans are so fond up? family values. just two days before the south carolina primary newt gingrich's second ex-wife is out with tawdry details about him that suggest he has the morals of an alleycat. in fact marianne gingrich tells abc news that he lacks the moral character to be president. the former mrs. gingrich who was married to newt gingrich for 18 years says she's coming forward so voters can know what she knows about him. here's part of what she knows about him. he says newt asked her for an open marriage so he could have both a why and a mistress. that mistress that is become his third wife and current wife
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calista. gingrich reportedly asked marianne if she would share him when he admitted to a 6-year-long affair with calista. keep in mind this was going on around the same time gingrich was going after bill clinton for his lack of moral leadership during the monica lewinsky scandal. ain't politics grand? marianne says newt asked her for divorce a few months after she was diagnosed with multibalance sclerosis. he divorced his first wife while she was being treated for cancer. family values. meanwhile, abc news will air the entire interview. apparently there was an argument in the network giving the timing of the release of this interview. the report first leaked words of the interview last night, 14 years and one day after matt drudge broke the monica lewinsky story. as for gingrich, so far his response seems to be telling the press to ask his daughters about
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it. it's all part of that whole family values thingie. here's the question -- when is the proper time for release a potential damaging interview with one of newt gingrich's ex-wives. go to cnn.com/caffertyfile or go to "the situation room's" facebook page. get ready for a lot of reaction, jack. thanks very much. we're going to dig a little deeper right now into this whole story. joining us is gloria borger, and our senior congressional correspondent dana bash. gloria, are women especially going to have a problem? >> i think the jury is obviously out on that. we don't know how much if at all it will affect south carolina, because it's happening pretty close to the primary, but you have to understand, as we all do that the words "open marriage" are not exactly music to the ears of women. but we know even before this
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women have been somewhat skeptical about the newt gingrich candidacy. take a look at our south carolina poll that we released this week. you will see that 28% of american support gingrich, but only 16% of women, so gingrich has almost twice as much support from men as he does from women. now, the candidate in this state who does well with women is mitt romney. so this potentially really help romney or even help rick santorum who after all has run as a values candidate. >> winner of the iowa caucuses. who knew? that was two week, two days later that was going to happen. dana, you've been covering this announcement. we didn't know who he was going to endorse. he endorses newt gingrich. wee didn't he endorse rick santorum who seems maybe more in line on some of the social family issues, if you will than newt gingrich.
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>> there's one word -- friendship. i'm told by several sources close to newt gingrich that they have been friends for year and years and years. i think it's known by political junkies that newt gingrich wrote the foreword for rick perry's book, but last night he made the decision tosh but overnight it wasn't clear whether or not he was going to endorse and it wasn't until this morning he decided to endorse him. question about santorum, why did he go and ask rick perry for his endorsement? i asked him that on the campaign trail today. >> i actually never did call governor perry. i found out he was going to drop out of the race this morning. stuffs announced immediately thereafter that he was going to endorse newt and i thought that's his prerogative. >> reporter: did your camp reach out to him? we heard maybe there were some phone calls. >> i think our staff has always been in communication. we're always in communication
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with the other campaigns, so that's not really -- >> reporter: let me translate that last part. he said his staff is always in communication, we understand that our mark preston reported this morning that the santorum campaign did reach out immediately, but it was too late. >> they would have liked that endorsement, even if he's only polls at 5% or 6%. >> rick perry endorsed newt gingrich, i said to myself here's why a lot of voters are cynical about politicians, because even though he endorsed him enthusiastically, today his's go the some flawing. here's what he said on december 11th. this is rick perry speaking about newt gingrich. listen. >> if you will cheat on your wife or your spouse, why wouldn't you cheat on anybody for that matter? he got a stare at that debate from newt gingrich, but today they're best friends? a month ago not so much.
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>> today perry said that newt gingrich is not perfect, and there is forgiveness for those who seek god, so he clearly knew we would be talking about that and he knew this story about marianne gingrich was percolating. >> it is surprising he did it so quickly. other people have dropped out race and we don't have endorsements from them. you look back on the history of politics. voodoo economics, stop lying about my record. look at barack obama and hillary clinton, now she's secretary of state. it happens. >> i think perry also made a bet today. it was sort of like he was going to go with the guy he actually thinks may win in south carolina and maybe he would be considered king maker in south carolina. >> you beverly believe they would get out this s.o.t., if you cheat on your wife and
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spouse, why wouldn't you cheat on your business partner? why wouldn't you cheat on anybody for that matter? strong words from rick perry, who has endorsed newt gingrich. thanks very much. the countdown certainly on to one of the debates. plus shocking new details about what the captain was reportedly doing only moments after that horrific cruise ship crash. we ask ourselves if we could do anything, what would we really do? one of the things that we lack in our city? what are the things we would like to do but that we can't and then make them happen. that's exactly what architecture should be all about, try to make the world a little more like our dreams. this is an rc robotic claw. my high school science teacher made me what i am today. our science teacher helped us build it. ♪
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just hours before he takes the stage, newt gingrich is
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defending himself against a shocking claim by his second wife. >> i said to him, newt, we've been married a long time, and he said yes, but you want me all to yourself. calista doesn't care what i do. >> what was he saying, do you think? >> he was asking to have an open marriage, and i refused. >> he wanted an open marriage? >> yeah, that i accept the fact that he has somebody else in his life. >> and you said? >> no. no. that is not a marriage. all right. let's discuss what's going on with our cnn political contributor paul begala and republican strategist rich galen. paul, everybody knew he was having an affair. this is not news, but to hear her say it like this on television? is it going to have an impact? >> it's not exactly on message,
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as we say in the business, but as you point out, it's not exactly new either. newt gingrich is an amazingly talented debater. what he seems to like most is attacking the media. what i think you'll see is bashing abc news and try to pivot it. he tells a wonderful story of his personal redemption, and people like that. i don't know that it's going to be terribly damaging. it's upsetting personally. you hate to see any family -- i'm not a fan of gingrich -- it should be a private problem. >> you worked for newt gingrich. did you have any clue what was going on? >> i never did. when people tell me he really had to resign, because everybody knew about calista, i say you think his friend david ban yard was protecting him and not telling him during the lewinsky stuff? but washington has been covering him for 30 years. he know this stuff.
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mother jones would be writing the story about his first wife every three months for 20 years. if he had been the governor of upper iguana and this was new, there would be projectile swings everywhere, but depending on what's involved in the actual allegation, if that's what it is, an open marriage, it will cost him some votes here, but i don't think it will stop the momentum cold. >> we know debates matter. we know he did well in the month need debate. look at the new nbc/marist poll, by tuesday after the debate, 31/26, it had narrowed to five points. if you're giving newt gingrich advice tonight, what does he need to do? >> focus his fire. he is -- i think he's a brilliant guy, but boy, is he
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a.d.d. he's all over the map. attacking romney as a closet moderate, okay, go after it. 6 another time he says he'll lose to ointo mania, focus your fire, newt. that apply toss santorum, too. the last debate, he won debating points over romney, but he beat him on an issue that voters in south carolina don't care about. voting rights for ex-cons. not exactly like the top of mind issue, so foccus your fire. >> the reason newt did so well on monday night is because that was the professor newt that people who haven't followed him very closely, think like that lacked that in the early debates. i would say do not let this get under your skin. just do your thing, you'll be
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fine. if mitt romney is watching you, what does he do? what does he need to do tonight? this is an important debate for him. >> last thing i would always say, trust your instincts. with mitt, mitt doesn't have very good instincts. he has good team, good scripted lines, but i hate to say it, i would say don't trust your instincts. that led him into saying things like i'll bet you ten grand. >> that's funny. i was going to say, my advice would be take a breath before you answer. let your brain catch up with your mouth. there's a lot going on, and just make sure when you do start the answer it's the answer you want to give. >> in my blog today, i wrote that i'm anxious to see if these candidates when there are only four left, if they'll be as touch with each other as they are when the candidate is standing right next to them. santorum, what does he need to
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do? >> you interviewed santorum, and he undloaded, but will he do it when standing next to them? >> i think he will. i think his problems is he's such a good debater in a senate style, he'll win the point wherever he can get it. he needs to go at his central point which i think for him has to be the social conservatism. he is a true pro-lifer. romney has been less consistent on that. >> but he gets into senate-speak, and the whole country goes, good night. >> with santorum? >> yeah. >> ron paul, is he still a candidate, and he's got a solid base here. he presumably will do well. >> he will. this is less his territory, but he will. he loses eight attitude when he gets off on to foreign policy, where he has --
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>> ironically a lot of democrats and liberals would like that. >> but on those tea party libertarian issues about limiting government, that's where he's the purist. again he should go at romney. one of the reasons romney has floated above it, all his opponents have -- you have to beat the king. >> ron paul sort of glories i think in being the old curmudge curmudgeon. if he could throttle that back a bit, keep it light, he's got a good sense of humor, i think he sails through this thing with 20%, 22%. >> this may be the 17th debate, but it's the most important. >> we'll be there. thank you very much. popular web sites closing for business to protest. it looks like lawmakers are taking notice. a dozen girls from the same high school start showing the
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same startling symptoms. what doctors irsaying, and why parents aren't buying it. you óómógwgó
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take a look at this ft. sump terr shot. we're coming down to tonight's cnn southern republican presidential debate. we're only two hours and 25 minutes away. you'll want to see this debate. it's going to a critically important one. meanwhile, lisa sylvester is monitoring other top stories, including major gains by an opposition group in syria. what's going on? >> the free syrian army, a group of soldiers has gained control of a suburn of damascus, the fighters expect another battle, however. meanwhile, members of the arab league fact-finding mission are in negotiation to stay in the country longer. the group plans to discuss the findings in the coming days. icon of photography industry is filing for bankruptcy protection. eastman kodak's stock plunged 35% before trading was suspended. kodak said it obtained $950
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million from citi bank to maintain operation. it's struggled to shift from film to digital. and wikipedia's one-day shutdown in proust of a controversial antipiracy bill may be working. at least two republican lawmakers are rethinking their support. missouri senator roy blunt tweeted that the bill is flawed, and florida senator marco rubio wrote on his facebook page that congress needs to come up with new legislation. many media companies, including cnn's parent company time warner support that bill. and a strange story from upsay new york. 12 girls if the same high school have gone to the hospital for stuttering and twitching symptoms. the girls are in different grades. some don't even know each other. a doctor who as evaluated 11 of the girls says it's an unconscious reaction to stress, but the doctor has no explanation for why it's happening to a whole group.
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no surprise, many parents are buying it. wolf? >> very, very strange. thanks very much for that, lisa. when he was last in "the situation room" with me, herman cain told all of us he would make a, quote, unconventional endorsement today. so who is he supporting? he's here with me. he's coming up next. stand by. one crew member says the captain of the wrecked cruise liner was doing something completely different after -- yes, after the ship ran aground. . good. you like trees. well, i like climbing them, but i've never been one. good point. ( captain ) this is your captain speaking. annie gets to be the princess. oh... but she has to kiss a boy. and he's dressed up like a big green frog ! ewww. ( announcer ) fly without putting your life on pause. be yourself nonstop. american airlines.
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all right. take a look at this. some beautiful shots over historic south carolina. we're here in this wonderful, wonderful city. we're counting down to tonight's southern presidential debate. you'll see it at 8:00 p.m. eastern on cnn. here was the endorsement we were promised. listen to this. >> i am going to make an unconventional endorsement. now, please underscore unconventional, because i've been an unconventional candidate. you've had unconventional bold ideas, so i'm going to make an
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unconventional endorsement the thursday before the south carolina primary. >> all right. this is thursday before the south carolina primary. former republican presidential candidate herman cain has just made that, quote, unconventional endorsement. he's joining me here on our set. i was waiting to hear mitt romney or somebody. your unconventional endorsement? >> yeah, i endorse the people. we the people. because washington is broken, we are broke, and if the people don't get commitments from candidates before they get elected, we're never going to change it. it was unconventional. i endorsed the american people to help inspiring them. >> the american people would be helped the most by which of these four remaining republican candidates. >> whoever gets the nomination. >> so you're not going to endorse anyone. >> i didn't say that. i still may endorse an individual. >> when? >> don't know yet. but here's the thing, coming out
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of new hampshire, the voting was 24,000 less than it was the last presidential election. that speaking to the fact that some of the conservatives, the republicans may be losing too much of their enthusiasm. i want to be one of the people to keep that enthusiasm up. it doesn't matter who the contain is -- >> but you like all four of these? >> you like three of the four. >> not ron paul. >> i like three of the four. >> tell me who you like. >> you make me sound like a broken record. let's sigh i have a preference for three of the fourth. >> can i assume -- >> no, don't make the assumption. >> do you like ron paul. >> he's a very respectable man. >> but you don't think he's ready to be president? >> that i would agreed with. his ideas are too extreme. >> you're going to give response to the state of union address tuesday on behalf of the tea party express movement. >> yes. >> michele bachmann did it last
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year. >> yes. >> how did this come about? >> we just got a call from the tea party people and they wanted to know would i do it? i said i would be honored. i still believe in the whole tea party movement. it is still growing. so i was honored when they asked me to give a response. >> you know there will be a formal republican party response. mitch daniels, the governor of indiana will deliver the republican party response to the president, but then you're going to give another one? >> one on behalf of the tea party movement, tea party express, tea party patriots, i'm getting the one basically on behalf of the people. >> will you write it or -- >> nobody ever writes my stuff. i will determine the points, i will react to the president's speech, and so as soon as they release it, they usually retess it just minutes before he gives it, but i can anticipate some of the things he'll say. >> so you will look into the teleprompter and read that speech, the one you'll write
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while he's delivering his. >> that's fast work. >> i may not have it written out. i may just take talking points. that's normally how i give my speeches. >> one final piece of advice for newt gingrich. how does he handle the allegations from his second wife. you had your issues, as our viewers know. >> the way i would handle it -- next question. the american people don't care about that. they don't care about it. the media cares about it, but the american people i've run into, they don't care. they want to hear about solutions, and they can go to cain.com. >> why did you decide to suspend your campaign? >> i care about the wimy wife a media kept spinning -- and it was painful to my wife and family. if the media had gotten off of it, i probably would have been in the race, but it was important for the media to
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continue to spin the story and the false accusations. if they had moved on and not believed that stuff and wanted to continue to -- i might still have been in the race. >> do you feel badly you're not on the stage? >> no, i'm having so much fun with my new organization called cainconnections.com and being part of the 9-9-9 revolution. that's not going to go away. >> why do i laugh every time? >> because it capital investigates the public. because i'm excited about it. that's why. >> 9-9-9. the revolution. >> okay. hey, thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you. always a joy. days after the cruiseship ran aground there's shocking new details about what -- that's next. and we're less than 2 1/2 hours away from the last debate before the south carolina primary. stay with cnn to see who comes out on top.
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dropping from a helicopter isn't the first way anyone thinks about boarding a cruise ship, but it's how rescuesers are searching for the 21 people
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still missing. meanwhile, we're getting a clearer picture of what the captain was doing after the ship hit the rocks, including dinner with a mystery woman. our senior international correspondent dan rivers is on the scene. what are you learning? >> reporter: it just is unbelievable, wolf, the details that are coming out apparently about the captain schettino's actions or inaction after this terrible accident last friday. new testimony emerging suggesting that the captain had ordered dinner and continued to wait for his dinner even after the collision with the rocks here on giglio island. the cook on board has given an interview, a filipino cook, claiming that rather than leading from the front, the captain schettino was continuing to wait for his meal to be served with a female companion.
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here is what he said. >> translator: the captain insisted having a meal around 10:30. he arrived with a woman i didn't recognize. at that time i was with a colleague, another cook. we wondered what was going on. at that time, we really felt something was wrong. the stuff in the kitchen was falling off shelves. we realized how grave the situation was. you would not believe it. i've had 12 years of experience as a cook on a ship. i've even witnessed fires so i wasn't that scared. but i did wonder, though, what the captain was doing, why was he still there. anyway we gave him his drink. after that he was also still waiting for the dessert to be served to the woman he was with. >> reporter: absolutely extraordinary testimony, wolf, if it turns out to be true. but the ship hit the rock at about 9:41 p.m. and as that cook said, 10:30 the captain was still waiting there for his dessert rather than being up on the bridge and
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leading from the front. that just backs up some of the other testimony that we've heard from the port authority and the coast guard suggesting that the captain had got off the ship before all of the passengers and apparently refused to get back on despite numerous requests from the coast guard to do so. >> dan, any word on how much longer the rescue operations will go on? >> reporter: well, i think they're winding up now, wolf. they sadly have not found any more survivors here. there's still almost two dozen missing. they have today had a lot more action on the salvage side of this operation, which is really yet to begin in earnest. but they're saying by this weekend they're going to have to start pumping that heavy fuel oil off, 2,000 tons of it. they're worried about the weather. and they'll have given this a week now of searching in treacherous conditions inside this ship.
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now i think they're going to have to switch gears and switch to the salvage operation. >> dan rivers, thanks very much. and this just coming into the situation room. the carnival cruise line is the parent company of the costa cruises. just announced they will audit and review all safety and emergency response procedures across all of the company's ships. a retired u.s. navy captain will head that review. let's get back to jack cafferty right now with the cafferty file. the question this hour is as follows. when is the proper time to release a potentially damaging interview with one of newt gingrich's ex-wives? mark writes "i've already heard the daughter's speech. it's just more schilling for daddy. as for the interview, why wouldn't it be appropriate? newt plays dirty. he has for 50 years. why should he get a free pass? i have no idea what impact this
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will have in south carolina. and they say they're evangelicals but they're pretty selective in what and whom they condemn." like jack said, family values. jim writes" the appropriate time to release such information is as soon as it's ready. one or two days before the primary i think in fairness you need to give someone sufficient time to respond. but that said, it should be a wake-up call for the christians who won't vote for romney because he's a mormon. too many are willing to put on the christian faith like a coat, something they take off when they get home. newt's one of those." bill in louisiana "the thing that bothers me most about the story being released it's from an ex-wife who has been scorned by newt and his current wife. how does anyone know fact fiction? it just seems to me she doesn't want the man and woman that she feels destroyed her marriage living in the white house, whether her accusations are true or false i'm sure they'll have the negative effect she hopes
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for". s writes "when a voter has to ask which wife is marianne again and which daughters from which marriage are defending him he's got some explaining to do. air it as soon as possible. voters have a right to know." moses writes" the damage is already done. this feeds into the electability factor that gingrich is struggling with for the general elections gingrich is done. romney is the nominee." charles in michigan writes "it doesn't make a bit of difference, jack. remember that newt's born again. he's all square with god and with conservatives until the next time." if you want to read more about this go to my blog, cnn.com/cafferty file or to our post on the situation room facebook page. >> thanks very much for that, jack. jack cafferty with the cafferty file. we'll take a quick break. when we come back, jeanne moos. for a limited time, passages malibu
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will be giving away free copies of the alcoholism & addiction cure. to get yours, go to ssagesmalibubook.com. >> reporter: newt gingrich's second wife says he suggested she share him with his now third wife, calista. apparently there wasn't enough of newt to go around.
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>> what would you say to your spouse if they said you need to share me? >> i'd want to see a big check. >> no. absolutely not. >> i'd say what do you mean? >> i would call his mother. >> reporter: in an interview with abc, newt's former wife says he opened the open marriage issue. >> he was asking to have an open marriage and i refused. >> reporter: rush limbaugh had to defend newt to a conservative caller for whom the subject was closed. >> an open marriage? i mean, calista's going to be the first lady? are you kidding me? >> we've already had one. we've already had an open marriage with the white house. maybe with the ken dis, how many open marriages -- >> reporter: speaking of open. >> i've been very open about mistakes i have made. i've been very open about need tolg go to god for forgiveness. >> reporter: for some, marriage is one eye-roling, open too far. >> when you get married you end the openness. it's closed. >> reporter: not necessarily, says psychologist dr. lauren business. >> at least he's being open about it. he's saying, look, honey, i'm
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not going to be faithful to you. can you live with that? >> reporter: apparently governor rick perry can. he dropped out of the race thursday and endorsed newt gingrich even though he recently said, "if you will cheat on your wife, if you will cheat on your spouse, then why wouldn't you cheat on your business partner? why wouldn't you cheat on anybody for that matter?" >> but now -- >> and newt is not perfect but who among us is? >> this spouse said to you, you need to share me, what kind of response? >> i was raised knowing that men have a different chemistry. and as long as they support the family -- >> reporter: we don't know how all the revelations will affect swing voters. but maybe it will help with a swinger vote. as for newt's reaction to his ex-wife, marianne's interview? >> i'm not going to say anything about marianne. i'm not getting involved. >> reporter: guess he doesn't want to share. jeanne moos, cnn. >> newt trying to share himself? >> reporter: new york. >> you know what, that ego is big. that's it for me. thanks very much for